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South African business people pay it forward by giving homes to the needy

By on May 23, 2020 0 224 Views

Collen Mashawana offered to change the orphan’s life for better after many years of waiting in vain for government to complete his RDP house in Eden Park West, East Rand.

The businessman decided to build a roof over his head to restore his dignity. His story was circulated on social media by his caring neighbour who asked for help highlighting his plight.


During the hand over of the house and the ribbon cutting, Mashawana explained, “His story was sad. As a foundation that goes around helping people, when we visited Oupanyana last month we asked a neighbour to provide shelter and accommodation until his house was ready. The plan was for us to have the house completed within a month despite the lockdown regulations.”

Holding the house keys in his hand, Oupa Letsholo thanked everyone for doing what they could to ease his pain.


Mashawana joined hands with others to build a house for a single mother, 70-year-old Patience Bongiwe Siswenye who registered to receive an RDP house like others who have been waiting since 2006.

Mashawana said, “When we were here on a fact-finding visit to Oupa’s place to establish how we can help him, we were approached by Gogo Bongiwe Seswenye who pleaded with us to also help her when we help the blind man as she was also staying in a dilapidated shack. She urged the Ekhuruleni MMC for Human Settlement Lesiba Mpya to talk to us.”

The complete house was given to Gogo with two brand new double beds, blankets and sheets and full set of couches in the sitting room.

Mashawana said, “Your house is so beautiful. If you ask me to stay with you here, I can. I was raised in Venda in a poor family. I know how it feels to stay in a shack. When grannies complain that it is not safe to stay in a shack, it is not safe. We will give you support.”

The owner of Mbokodo, the female-owned company that built the house for Gogo, Thandeka Nombanjinji Njama said, “We were very touched that in this era, it can’t be that our people are still living in the conditions they are living under those difficult circumstances. Mbokodo got involved and we decided to lend a hand and assist instead of complaining. We were able to create jobs for the unemployed women in the community and empowered them with skills, knowledge and training. We are happy that we are restoring dignity of Gogo to have a roof over her head and stay comfortable.”

Gogo could not contain her tears of joy and disbelief that her wish had been realised.

Patience Siswenye said, “I thank you everyone for helping build me a house. Continue with the good you are doing to build houses for others who don’t have houses.” 

Mashawana concluded,”We don’t just go around helping people for free. We want a payment. The payment is prayer.”

The South African – Thomo Nkgadima

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